Move Google Contacts to Nextcloud Contacts

The process is easy. Go to the Google Contacts website:

Expand “More” and select “Export”.

Export all or some of your contacts, but select vCard format and save to your Desktop.

Go to your Nextcloud website’s Contacts app: https://<your-nextcloud-website&gt;.com/index.php/apps/contacts.

Expand “Settings” and click “Import Into”. In the file dialog, select your downloaded vCard.

Wait for the import to finish.

Now if you are using Google Contacts on your phone, you will want to disable that sync so you do not get duplicated contacts. You can sync your contacts with CalDAV/CardDAV Android app.

You can also delete all of your Google Contacts as well, but I will not include those instructions in case people are just looking at pictures.

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Add Nextcloud calendar to Google Calendar

Below is how to see (read-only) your Nextcloud calendars in Google Calendar. I do not believe Google supports writing to Nextcloud calendars from Google Calendar. This example is for my Calendar “Example Calendar”.

From the calendar app page:

Under your list of calendars on the left

  • Click the share button
  • Select “Share Link”
  • The click the second share button

Your browser will open to a new Nextcloud Calendar page that is for public viewing.

On the top right, click on the Subscribe button.

Your browser will either ask you how to handle this type of link, or will redirect you directly to Google Calendar, where you can add your calendar in this format.


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SmartRG router cheatsheet

The SmartRG router (supplied by Sonic ISP) has a bad user interface. There is no easy mode, just very network centric terminology to maneuver. 

Local Server Walk-through

Let’s say you plug in your laptop to Ethernet or connect to the Wi-Fi. First, go to the “Connected Devices” section and get your IP address and MAC address. Second, go to “Static IPs” and add to the Static IP Lease an entry for your MAC address and IP address (you can change the IP address if you want, but you have to restart your device). Third, go to “Port Forwarding” and forward ports to the IP address, like 22 for SSH or 80 for HTTP. Lastly, if your device is using a domain name, you can add a “Static DNS” route so you can reference your laptop within your local network (this solves the problem of NAT loopback). 


Connected Devices

Static IPs

Port Forwarding

Static DNS


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SmartRG network hard drive – SAMBA version too old

The SmartRG router (supplied by Sonic ISP) has the option of mounting a hard drive for access by all computers on the network via the SAMBA protocol. But the SmartRG router supplied has an old version of the SAMBA protocol, that Windows 10 will not use due to major security vulnerabilities with it. Getting a firmware upgrade for the router is not easy on their SmartRG website, but has a firmware upgrade that can be used. But again, an old SAMBA protocol is used, so Windows 10 will not connect to the networked hard drive.

Sharing the Hard Drive to just be denied

If you want to go ahead and still try to access the hard drive, follow these instructions with the following modifications/highlights:

  • SmartRG’s device configurations are located under: Advanced Setup > Storage Service > Storage Device Info
  • On the router, give the device a name in this menu
  • In Windows, you will be Mapping a Network Drive
  • This will be your address: \\\given-name
  • When prompted for a password, use the admin password for your router
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Nextcloud on AWS with S3 and Lightsail

Running a Nextcloud instance in AWS rather than at your home has some benefits:

  • S3 storage means unlimited storage
  • Static IP
  • Fast bandwidth
  • Always able to SSH into machine and restart it

I suggest this blog that provides a few steps to get you up and running in less than 15 minutes, along with getting a free domain name at

To avoid:

  • Do not use Amazon Linux
  • Do not use encryption (my server stopped being able to retrieve files)



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Temporary fix for updating external HPFS/NTFS/exFAT hard drive’s permissions so Plex can access

When I plugged in my external hard drive that was on Windows to a Linux machine (Raspberry Pi 3), it was automatically mounted at /media/brian/Brian-HD, but the permissions were drw- --- --- 1 brian brian. I needed Plex to be able to see and use the hard drive, but no matter how much I tried to open up permissions, the ls -l command never changed.

Failed attempts to update permissions

sudo -R chmod 660 /media/brian/
sudo addgroup brian plex
sudo addgroup plex brian

Finding out that the drive is an exFAT.

sudo fdisk -l 
Device Boot Start End Sectors Size Id Type 
/dev/sda1 256 488378111 488377856 1.8T 7 HPFS/NTFS/exFAT

What worked for me

PLEX support forums has an article specifically on how to mount NTFS hard drives (but exFAT works too) so you can get permissions for PLEX to see the files. But their article is old and has broken links, so I will restate it with updated links:

# Run and get the UUID of your device

# Edit /etc/fstab
sudo nano /etc/fstab

# Add this line to the bottom 
UUID=<UUID from before without quotes and brackets> /media/brian exfat permissions,auto 0 0

# Unmount your device
sudo umount /media/brian/Brian-HD

# Try mounting and troubleshoot
sudo mount /media/brian


The last step will work, but you might have to do some troubleshooting to make sure the format type is right and the mount location is correct.


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Factory Resetting Nexlux LED Light Strip

TNexlux LED Light Strip Boxhe Nexlux LED Strip Lights sold on Amazon have a confusing set of “How to restore factory settings?” instructions

First, to add a device, install their app (Magic Home Pro app on Google Play or Magic Home WiFi on App Store) and click “Add Device”.

But if you already have a device and changed Wi-Fi networks, you will need to reset that device.

Repeat four times unless the device strobes multiple colors:

  1. Plug into power. With remote, turn on lights. Wait a few seconds.
  2. Unplug from power! (Not turning off with remote.) Wait a few seconds.







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